6/5/2007Tennessee: Red Light Camera Mistakes Pickup Truck for BMW
A red light camera accuses a Knoxville, Tennessee motorist of running a red light in a pickup truck she has never seen before.
A red light camera in Knoxville, Tennessee claimed a white Toyota pickup truck photographed running a red light was actually a silver BMW convertible. Knoxville motorist Tamara K, who runs the View from the Porch blog, received the $50 ticket that insisted her Z3 convertible had been seen running a light on May 22 at 8:17pm.
A closer look at the photo showed the optical character recognition software used by the Australian red light camera operator Redflex had mistaken the number "2" on the pickup truck's license plate for the "3" that appears on the BMW's plate. Knoxville police insist that each violation is carefully scrutinized by two human beings: Once by the camera vendor that issues citations for a cut of the profit, and a second time by a sworn Knoxville police officer. Neither noticed that the description of a "BMW convertible" on the citation in no way matched the Toyota Tacoma shown in the photo.
"But instead of some public servant reading this and calling me on the phone with a 'Whoops! We screwed up! Sorry!' I will have to go downtown and perform my obeisances in an orgy of forelock tugging, curtsying, and groveling, and beg my betters to please let me go about my business unmolested," Tamara wrote.